For Media

Hotels for Press
Accommodation levels in Rio de Janeiro are anticipated to be at full occupancy during the conference. While it is not the responsibility of the United Nations to procure accommodation for the media, it should be noted that the Brazilian national organizing committee for Rio+20 has committed to blocking a minimum of 500 hotel rooms in Rio de Janeiro for media covering the conference. Costs must be covered by the media. For more details, visit: For information regarding room availability please contact: Terramar Travel Agency

Emails: or or

Tel: (+55+21) 35120067 or (+55+11) 30142042 or (+55+19) 35145600

Media representatives must present their approval letter and copy when requesting their accommodations.

  • Published on: 19 Oct 2011
  • Submitted by: United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

UN Decades on Biodiversity and Deserts and the Fight against Desertification share approaches to raise awareness on related global issues
Changwon, Republic of Korea, 19 October 2011 - Addressing challenges to biodiversity and productive land issues often have common solutions that can be promoted together to improve people?s lives and the environment.

The Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea, hosted a high-level discussion on the synergetic and coherent implementation of the UN Decades on Biodiversity and on Deserts and the Fight against Desertification duringthe tenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

?I am confident that nothing is impossible if we have hope and work altogether,? Yoo Young Sook, Minister of the Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea, who hosted the discussion, said. ?With this in mind I am sure that this Rio Conventions Pavilion high-level meeting will greatly contribute to achieving the objectives the three Rio Conventions.?

The three Rio Conventions emerged from the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development, or the Earth Summit, which was held in Rio de Janeiro. They are: UNCCD, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

?For us a common response to the challenges of climate change, biodiversity and desertification is needed,? UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja said. ?Our life support system is in the biodiversity of the soil. That is where we really meet and that is why we need to continue to work together to advance synergy.

Urging all UN agencies and attending Ministers to follow the examples of the decades by working together, Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of CBD, said, ?The decades ensure that before 2020 each and every citizen of the planet will be aware of biodiversity, will value biodiversity and protect biodiversity, therefore protecting the land and the future.?

?These two decades should not be taken separately as we know the cultural and traditional diversity is key to both,? Cherif Rahmani, Minister of the Ministry of Environment, Algeria, said. ?Therefore when we are discussing these two decades, we have to ensure that we take into account both the cultural and traditional aspects.?

Speaking about the connections between issues of desertification, biodiversity and climate change,Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, said, "We are living in a world where all of these issues are connected to each other. From my perspective, the real celebration shall take place at the end of the decade when we see the concrete outcomes.?

The discussion was an opportunity for a high-level engagement on the decades? activities. With examples of projects and initiatives to be carried out during the years ahead, speakers highlighted the importance of both decades to sustainable development processes to show how, by implementing actions that support the Strategic Plans of each Convention, governments and organisations could realize synergy and advance work in both policy areas.

?It is not by accident that we have two decades. We must make the maximum out of these two decades not to run them parallel but to use them as a context for joint action.? Mr. Gnacadja said.

Stephen Leahy, Senior Environment Correspondent of Inter-Press Service served as master of ceremonies. Other discussants included: Ha Young Hyo, Vice Minister of the Korea Forest Service and the COP10 Presidency, Jan McAlpine, Director of the UN Forum on Forests Secretariat, Douglas Gardner, Deputy Assistant Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme?s Bureau of Development Policy, and Ibrahim Thiaw, Director of the UN Environmental Programme?s Division of Environmental Policy Implementation.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared 2010-2020 the United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification, to raise awareness about desertification, land degradation and drought. In 2010, the UN Decade was launched in each of the five regions of the world. In the same year, the UNGA declared 2011-2020 the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity. As 2011 is the International Year of Forests, the Decades' observances also addressed forests in their contexts, a theme that is, therefore, a part of the event.

The event was organised by the Inter-agency Taskforce of the UN on Deserts and the Fight against Desertification, which consists of 13 UN agencies and International non-governmental organisations, as part of the Rio Conventions Pavilion. The Pavilion is a joint outreach and capacity-building initiative involving the Secretariats of the three Rio Conventions, that is, the UNCCD, CBD and UNFCCC, plus the Secretariat of the Global Environment Facilityand many local and global partners.
Copyright (c) United Nations 2011 | Terms of Use | Privacy Notice | Contact | Site Map | New